Nationwide Emergency Alert System Test This Afternoon


emergency-alert-systemNY – The White House is preparing for the first nationwide test of the country’s emergency alert system on Wednesday. The test will occur at 2 p.m. EST Wednesday and will last about 30 seconds, presidential spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.

It will go out on all television and radio stations simultaneously, including WCBS 880, CBS2, and 1010 WINS.

The alert system can be activated by the president to inform the public in times of emergency. It has already been tested and used on the local level.

Carney said everyone should remember about Wednesday’s action by the administration: “It’s just a test.”

“It’s to make sure the system works. So, in the event there is an emergency that it does work, and also to figure out, what were our shortfalls? How do we need to modernize this?” Don Caetano, FEMA deputy director of external affairs, told WCBS 880 reporter Marla Diamond.

The original emergency test was designed in the 1950s.

What was supposed to be a three-minute test has been shortened to thirty seconds to avoid causing panic.

{CBS News/ Newscenter}